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Yellow Suitcase Studio: September 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Heart Faces - Best Face Photo from Summer 2011

Yipes! I almost missed this week's I Heart Faces challenge!

This is my sister. Isn't she gorgeous?!? I love her.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DIY Shelves for Happy Active Kittens

We have two kittens that have all their claws. That’s a lot of little claws. Thankfully they haven’t taken them to the furniture – unless they’re tearing around like crazies or they forget that they have the ability to jump. Hubby and I knew right away we’d need to have a place for them to claw and climb their little hearts out. We also didn’t want anything too tacky or expensive.
  • Shelf brackets – we got ours at Menards for free after rebate
  • Screws, anchors, and washers
  • Sisal – I ordered a rug that was on clearance. Seriously snatch that up even if you’re not making cat scratchers! It's 75% off.  Look for promo codes too. It's even cheaper now than when I first got it.
  • Velcro 
  • Wood for shelves and wall scratching/climbing panel – we used a 12” x 48” x .34” board cut in three for the shelves and a 10” x 40” x .25” board for the scratching climbing panel.
{Here's the finished shelves! We have the perfect wall for them too.}
 {The kitties love the sisal. Right when I opened up the box they were all over it. Sisal and cardboard box equals perfect cat bed.}

{Let us help you with that dad.}

I cut 2 pieces out of the rug to put on two of the shelves. I sewed bias tape around the edges so they wouldn't fray. My sewing machine probably wasn't too happy about it. I'm sure you could hot glue bias tape around it or staple it around the shelves. Velcro was added so that it doesn't slide off the shelf.

{two of the three shelves are like this}

A good chunk of the rug was used to staple onto a board so they could climb up to the shelves.
{Yep looks good mom! Can we scratch it up yet?}

 The third shelf has a fabric covered pillow form that is attached with velcro.
{that back leg hanging down cracks me up}

It's so fun to watch them climb up the board and onto the shelves! They're like Spider-Man!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

I Heart Faces - A Touch of Sun Challenge

This week's challenge theme over at I Heart Faces is "A Touch of Sun". I knew the perfect photo right away!

I took engagement photos for friends of mine recently and this is probably my favorite one. The way they are going in for a kiss. Their hands held. The way the setting sun is so magical. Two people that God put together - deeply in love and perfect for each other.

{love and light are beautiful things}

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Sometimes I get a craving for something and I can't get rid of it until I've tasted what I've been craving. Last night I had a crazy dream. It was ridiculous and there were lemon cupcakes. Perfectly moist cake and heavenly fluffy lemon frosting.  I don't remember anything else. From the moment I woke up I had a craving for something lemon and sweet. Goodness! Food should not enter my dreams.

I turned to Tastespotting, my absolute favorite site for finding recipes. Warning: if you look at the site you will start salivating. Gorgeous food photography to the max. I'm a firm believer that recipes should have pictures. Which is probably why I love this site so much.

After searching "lemon cookies" and checking out a couple recipes, I decided to use one from Cafe Johnsonia. The recipe is originally from Cooks' Illustrated.

These definitely took care of my craving. Hubby likes them too! Though, the lemon is a tiny bit too strong for his tastes. I'm sure it would be a great compliment to some tea.


{Instead of the lemon zest, I used a tiny amount of lemon juice}

{I'm so thankful one of my aunts got me this egg separator for my bridal shower; it works like a charm and I've used it so many times}

{the dough came out perfect even though I used a mixer instead of a food processor}

{form into a log and wrap}

{slice the dough after it's been chilled}

{lovely golden edges}

{more lemony sweet goodness in the glaze}


Glazed Lemon Cookies
From Cooks' Illustrated
Makes about 30

Lemon Cookies
¾ cup (5 1/4 oz.) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. grated zest plus 2 Tbsp. juice from two lemons {I didn't have lemons so I just used lemon juice}
1 ¾ cups (8 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
12 Tbsp. ( 1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 lg. egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze
1 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 ½ cups (6 oz.) powdered sugar

1. For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of *food processor, process granulated sugar and zest until it looks damp and zest is thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and baking powder; pulse to combine, about 10 one-second pulses. Scatter butter chunks over. Pulse until mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 one-second pulses.In a measuring cup or small bowl, beat lemon juice, yolk, and vanilla until combined. With machine running, add juice/yolk mixture in slow, steady stream (process should take about 10 seconds); continue processing until dough begins to form ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.

3. Turn dough and any dry bits out onto counter (or board); working quickly, gently knead the dough together to ensure no dry bits remain and dough is homogeneous. Roll dough into cylinder approximately 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Center dough on piece of parchment (waxed paper or plastic wrap will work in a pinch ). Fold paper over dough. Grasp one end of parchment. With other hand, use bench scarper to firmly press parchment against dough to form uniform cylinder. Roll parchment and twist ends together to form tight seal. Chill dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in freezer or 2 hours in refrigerator.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough log from wrapping and, using a sharp chef's knife, slice dough into rounds 3/8-inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake until centers of cookies just begin to color and edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time.
Cool cookies on baking sheet about 5 minutes, using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature before glazing.

Lemon Glaze:

1. Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium nonreactive bowl until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

2. When cookies have cooled, working one at a time, spoon scant teaspoon glaze onto each cookie and spread evenly with the back of spoon.

Let cookies stand on a wire rack until glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour.

*Note: I don't have a big enough food processor so I used my mixer and it worked just fine. Cafe Johnsonia provided alternate directions for making the dough by hand or with a mixer. I fully intended to follow these and then I misread it. OOops! I made it just like the original but with sofened butter.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

A Quilt Story

So this one summer 2 (or was it 3?)  years ago I got a whole bunch of quilting fabrics and batting at a rummage sale for $5. With all that excitement my sister and I declared we were going to make a quilt for my parent's 30th anniversary coming up. It was destiny that we needed to make this quilt. I'm pretty sure I said, "God wills it".

That first year we made our plan, got the 4 corner squares, the lighthouse block, and seashell block completed. We were on a roll. Then life happened. The quilt project got pushed aside.

Somewhere between then and two weeks ago the little fish square was made. Wow big accomplishment! Right.

My sister had a week off of work recently so we planned time to work on it. We were finally going to make this thing happen. We cut and sewed like our lives depended on it. This thing is a giant. In a couple days we got the final blocks made, picked out fabric for the borders (after 3 trips to Joann's...), put the whole thing together, and quilted it. It took a lot of team work in the final stages - pinning, tag teaming at the sewing machine, and wrestling all the fabric around the sewing machine. Then it was all over. Complete. The feeling that we'd been looking forward to for years was upon us, and the quilt that was meant to be was draped over my parent's bed.

Ah project finished and mom, and dad love it! We could not be happier.

{I told you it was a giant. It's on a queen size bed.}

{My sister hand stitched this sweet square for the back. Which reminds me I forgot to take a picture of the whole back. Blogger fail.}

{My sister got a fancy pants sewing machine since we first started. What an upgrade! I'm totally jealous after getting to use it.}

{This was a very helpful purchase with all the pieces that were appliqued. Too bad we didn't have this when we started.}

Note- We are by no means expert quilters. I'm sure we made some quilting faux pas. We're good at just going for it, trying things, and putting a ton of love into it.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rummage Finds

I love a good deal. Have you had any really good rummage finds this summer? Tell me about it!

Here are some crafty things I found recently at rummage. You seriously can't beat rummage deals!

{2 pillow forms}

 {2 fusible web packs and cheese cloth}

{2 Ikea tea towels}

{and some lovely yellow checked fabric}

Best part, all this was $6! SCORE!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I love sailing; the waves, wind, sunshine, and blue skies. The sunshine and blue skies were somewhat fleeting this time around, but we got an extra portion of wind. So much so that there was a small craft advisory on Lake Michigan. So we set sail on Pewaukee Lake.

We saw some of a sailboat race going on. Those big colorful sails are called spinnakers. Who knew!?! Now you can go impress your friends because now you know!

What was something special you got to do over your Labor Day weekend? Did the weather interrupt any of your plans?

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sisters Tea Party Photo Shoot

My sister and I like to do photo shoots with each other every year. Lucky us this was number two this year. We come up with a theme usually with some of our favorite thrift store/rummage finds. It's so fun to plan, get dolled up, laugh at ourselves, and enjoy photography. I have the most awesome sister. This photo shoot theme was tea party. We did it right before sunset and the light was so dreamy and magical. Things like this makes my heart beat a little faster.

I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking! Enjoy!

*note photos that I am in are taken by my lovely sister and the one with both of us was on a tripod :)

We were losing light fast so then we did a little shoot with my yellow chair.

Thanks for looking! Check out Yellow Suitcase Studio on Facebook for more pics and some behind the scenes! 

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sanding, Spray Paint, and Love

 They do wonders!

I got this beautiful chair from my in-laws basement. I had been looking around for a chair that I could use in the craft room. This one is perfect. I love the curves and the details on the front legs and spindles!


Next it got a good sanding and clean up. Then a coat of primer. In retrospect I think I should have used more primer.
{this is the type of primer I used}

{All primed! This would have made a beauty of a white chair.}

Guess what color I painted it? If you guessed yellow you are the winner! I used the same summer squash yellow as in my painted peg board.

 {yellow and this chair were meant to be}

{this chair and I were meant to be}

{this was taking by my sister along with the one that I am in above}

I can't wait to show you more pics from a photo shoot that we used this chair in!

Have you made over anything using spray paint?

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